Bob’s Bugle – Real Estate Newsletter – October 2011

Bob's Bugle - Real Estate Newsletter

           Menu

Bob Chapman
Managing Broker

Windermere Real Estate
Lake Stevens, Inc.

9327 4th St. NE, Ste #3
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
USA
Ph: (425) 268-2940
Fax: (425) 335-1838

Contact Me


Bob's Bugle Real Estate Newsletter October 2011REAL ESTATE NEWS & INFORMATION

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter October 2011

October 13, 2011

*Northwest MLS Brokers Say September 2011 Activity Reflects Healthy and Positive Trends*

KIRKLAND, WA, October 5, 2011 – With inventory at its lowest level since May, members of Northwest Multiple Listing Service report “stiff competition for move-in ready homes” in some neighborhoods. Other key indicators in the latest statistical report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show upticks in sales and some leveling off on prices.

Pending sales for the Northwest MLS service area, which encompasses 21 counties, are up more than 20 percent from a year ago. Following typical August-to-September patterns, the volume of pending sales (mutually accepted offers) tapered off last month (down 9.6 percent) compared to the previous month.

Brokers reported 4,988 closed sales during September, beating the year-ago volume by 991 transactions for a gain of almost 25 percent. The number of completed transactions in the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap) jumped 32 percent from twelve months ago.

Northwest MLS members added 7,923 new listings to the database last month, the fewest since February. At month end, with those additions, there were 35,254 active listings in the MLS service area, almost 6,900 fewer than a year ago (a decline of 16.4 percent).

“This market is proving to be challenging, but not for the reasons you might think,” said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate Co. He pointed out interest rates are low, affordability is high, and confidence in the housing market is improving. “These are all good things, but the result is an influx of motivated buyers in a market where inventory levels have not yet caught up to the demand.” Jacobi, a member of the Northwest MLS board of directors, said one consequence is “stiff competition for move-in ready homes that are priced right, especially in neighborhoods close to Seattle.”

The median price on last month’s closed sales of single family homes and condominiums (combined) was $233,945, down about 9 percent from September 2010. Compared to six months ago (March 2011), prices area-wide have declined 3.7 percent, while a comparison to three months ago (June 2011) shows a price dip of 2.9 percent.

Distressed homes selling at deep discounts account for much of the drag on prices, according to data from the National Association of Realtors®. Its statistics show distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 31 percent of sales nationwide in August, the latest period in the NAR analysis.

Locally, industry veterans are encouraged by the combination of shrinking inventory and year-over-year gains in sales.

“Historically, low inventory at these levels has led to stable or slight increases in home valuations,” said Northwest MLS director Joe Spencer, a COO of a Seattle, Washington based real estate brokerage. “It’s too early to tell,” he added, “because there are a lot of crosscurrents in the economy, but it’s encouraging seeing positive trends in sales activity and listing inventory.”

Realistic pricing is paramount in today’s market, according to Northwest MLS brokers.

“Historically low interest rates may get more buyers shopping but buyers are very well educated,” reported NWMLS director Darin Stenvers. “Before they ever leave their homes they have a good idea of which homes are priced correctly,” he explained. Conversely, he added, “Many sellers are not taking into consideration the effects of extremely tight appraisal guidelines and heightened credit requirements.”

Stenvers, a managing broker in Bellingham, WA, said homes are selling if sellers will look at the comparable sales that brokers and appraisers need to use as guidelines when bringing a home to the market. Many unrealistic sellers still think they can get what they “need” or “what they have invested,” but the buyers simply will not overpay, he emphasized. “Properly priced homes are selling, overpriced homes are not, it is that simple,” he stated, suggesting if a frustrated seller is not getting showings or offers they should ask their broker for new “comparable solds” and adjust their listing price.

Jacobi reported seeing an influx of cash buyers in the $800,000 to $1.2 million price range, especially on the Eastside areas around Bellevue. “Although prices have declined from their peak in 2007, financing for jumbo loans remains tough, so cash buyers have the upper hand in negotiating the best deals,” he observed. “The buyers are not looking at housing as a red hot investment,” he said, “but rather as a place for long-term value and a possible hedge against inflation. Like many of us, they’ve experienced first-hand the effects of falling stock prices and rising inflation. But unlike equity investments, these buyers figure that at least they can live in their home while they wait for the global economy to figure itself out.”

Commenting on the national picture, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the market is underperforming given a pent-up demand in household formation. “We continue to experience a pattern in which financially qualified home buyers, willing to stay well within their means, are being denied credit – a factor in elevated levels of contract failures,” he said, suggesting buyers may be able to find more favorable credit terms with community and small regional banks.

I am a Short Sale specialist for Seller’s needing to list their home for sale or Buyer’s wanting to obtain a Great deal by Buying a Short Sale home!

Referrals are a “very” important part of my business. Please let me know of anyone that you know who may be considering Buying or Selling real estate – or please give them my name and contact information!

Thank You!

Bob Chapman

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter October 2011

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary for September 2011

Single

Family

Homes

+ Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New ListingsTotal Active

# Pending

Sales

# ClosingsAvg. PriceMedian Price
King

3,219

10,771

2,996

2,256

$396,533

$315,000

Snohomish

1,364

4,425

1,325

916

$255,925

$232,000

Pierce

1,409

5,283

1,290

952

$216,006

$186,750

Kitsap

455

1,925

333

270

$269,111

$235,000

Mason

175

949

83

55

$164,619

$141,000

Skagit

233

1,134

138

112

$235,977

$205,250

Grays Harbor

166

957

101

66

$136,859

$135,350

Lewis

124

824

89

60

$156,015

$134,750

Cowlitz

130

610

95

81

$147,892

$135,500

Grant

123

675

59

53

$170,485

$159,000

Thurston

482

1,813

370

240

$238,464

$225,500

San Juan

40

528

19

12

$458,000

$295,000

Island

182

1,132

120

107

$311,889

$268,000

Kittitas

97

621

48

57

$204,919

$172,000

Jefferson

79

652

36

24

$268,301

$239,000

Okanogan

69

495

17

19

$185,484

$168,000

Whatcom

414

1,915

296

250

$263,994

$234,750

Clark

62

281

55

52

$210,632

$177,500

Pacific

66

490

35

23

$129,003

$95,000

Ferry

5

61

4

2

$277,000

$277,000

Clallam

73

518

42

36

$219,735

$186,000

Others

161

848

81

61

$208,829

$179,000

MLS TOTAL

9,128

36,907

7,632

5,704

$298,222

$236,000

 

4-County Puget Sound Region Pending Sales (SFH + Condo combined)
(Totals include King, Snohomish, Pierce & Kitsap counties)

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter October 2011

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2000

3706

4778

5903

5116

5490

5079

4928

5432

4569

4675

4126

3166

2001

4334

5056

5722

5399

5631

5568

5434

5544

4040

4387

4155

3430

2002

4293

4735

5569

5436

6131

5212

5525

6215

5394

5777

4966

4153

2003

4746

5290

6889

6837

7148

7202

7673

7135

6698

6552

4904

4454

2004

4521

6284

8073

7910

7888

8186

7583

7464

6984

6761

6228

5195

2005

5426

6833

8801

8420

8610

8896

8207

8784

7561

7157

6188

4837

2006

5275

6032

8174

7651

8411

8094

7121

7692

6216

6403

5292

4346

2007

4869

6239

7192

6974

7311

6876

6371

5580

4153

4447

3896

2975

2008

3291

4167

4520

4624

4526

4765

4580

4584

4445

334628412432
2009325034074262537254985963555157645825570238293440
2010438152116821736840584239430645204350437639383474
2011427247676049573259635868565759445299   

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

Bob’s Bugle Real Estate Newsletter October 2011, copyright 2011. All material contained herein is owned and protected. Any attempts to reproduce this information without the express written consent from the owner will be prosecuted.

Check out my website(s): www.washingtonrealestatepage.com or www.washingtonlandandhomes.com.

Past Issues – Bob’s Bugle

Let a trained professional Windermere agent, Bob Chapman, assist you in your Snohomish County real estate home or vacant land buying or selling transaction.

This Snohomish County real estate website page also has a home loan or mortgage calculator.

Please visit the links pages in the navigation bar. There you will find links to: Snohomish County & Washington State School Districts information which includes the official websites of School Districts in Snohomish County and Washington State; The official Washington State government website, Snohomish County & City government websites and Valuable Real Estate Informational and Resource links.